Archive for July, 2008
Those of us who have flown across an ocean know just how miserable it is to show up in a new country first thing in the morning. You feel disgusting after such a long flight and are often unable to shower because you can’t check into your hotel room yet and/or don’t want to take the time to shower at the airport (yes, some airports have showers). Emirates has a solution to this issue – on Friday, first class passengers on their new superjumbo A380 Airbus can take a five minute shower while onboard.
That’s not all. The giant plane also has 14 private suites with a bed, remote controlled doors, a work desk an electrically controlled mini-bar, and a great in-flight entertainment system. Wowzers.
Whoa. And I thought the first bag fee was crazy.
A recommendation that people study ballroom dance* may seem to be a bit odd for a travel tip, but it’s a great one in my experience. If you’re traveling for a wedding, show off at the reception (but please don’t upstage the bride and groom unless given permission). If you’re going on a cruise, cha cha to the Latin trio playing by the pool in the afternoon or foxtrot at the captain’s welcome party. If you’re visiting Barcelona (affectionately referred to as BAR-CLUB-ONA by my bff and I), hit the salsa clubs by the beach.
Are you going to New York soon? In honor of the 150th anniversary of the park, the latest and greatest way to see Central Park is via a balloon ride. This is not a hot air balloon – it’s helium. Also, you’ll be tethered to the ground, but you will be THIRTY STORIES UP (300 feet)! The only problem with this ride? It’s only available for a limited time! Check it out before it’s gone. July 25 – August 22, 2008, 7am – 10pm, $25 adults, $17.50 kids, max 4 passengers per ride. I wish I had a trip planned! Read more at CNN or from AeroBalloon (image from AB).
Monday, May 26, 2008
9440 Highway 226A
Little Switzerland, NC
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a county visit – and it’s been a while since I actually accomplished this one. Oops! We went to Asheville for Memorial Day weekend, and I insisted that we take a detour on our way home to have lunch in Little Switzerland.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard a special on NPR about Verses jeans. Verses uses locally produced raw materials to make, from design to finish, the jeans at their downtown Raleigh studio. If you’re interested in a product that’s totally North Carolina and made with the intention to help rebuild the garment industry in the US, check them out. They’re available at stores in New York City, Phoenix, Siox Falls, and Taguig City, Phillipines as well as the studio in Raleigh. The only problem? They’re for guys only at this point.
Check out the designer’s blog here, which is where the following pic is from.
On this Tuesday, I’ll defer to Christopher Elliott to provide the day’s travel tips in light of the recent start of the hurricane season. Elliott’s CNN article recommends tips for how to avoid letting a natural disaster ruin your next vacay.
If you can’t make your vacay due to a natural disaster:
1. If you have the right insurance, it’ll cover you.
2. Call your travel agent. Yes, this is one of those things to add to your “pros” list of whether to use a TA.
3. If you can’t get a refund, get a replacement
If you’re on vacay and disaster strikes:
1. Get out ASAP.
2. Get home safely – worry about refunds later.
3. If “they” play the God Card, play the Victim Card.
Check out Elliott’s article for further details.
I’ve recently begun following The Backpackers, a blog published via the Sydney Morning Herald. It’s definitely good for a giggle. For example, check out the most recent posts:
The Bug: This entry addresses how to spot those bitten by the travel bug. It’s quite charming.
Meet locals, get laid: This entry talks about CouchSurfing, “a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.” Apparently for the singletons out there, it’s a good way to… hm… meet a mate.
The Heathrow Spread: Here the blogger talks about visiting the UK and how “it’s usually only the diet conscious among us who manage to return from there without adding a few pounds to our personal carry-on.”
On my way in to work this morning, I was listening to NPR as usual when I heard a report about libel tourism. Apparently people who want to sue someone for libel are doing some serious forum shopping, primarily focusing their attention on getting into court in England or Wales. Those jurisdictions offer fewer defenses than, say, the United States, so the plaintiffs are more likely to win (or at least bully the defendants into a favorable settlement). This year senators Aarlen Spector and Joe Lieberman proposed a Free Speech Protection Act of 2008, a companion to a House bill introduced by Rep. Pete King (NY) and co-sponsored by Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY).
The bill would bar U.S. courts from enforcing libel judgments issued in foreign courts against U.S. residents, if the speech would not be libelous under American law. The bill would also permit American authors and publishers to countersue if the material is protected by the First Amendment. If a jury found that a foreign suit was part of a scheme to suppress free speech rights, it could award treble damages. -Wiki
Check out cute cartoons about libel at CartoonStock.
Jeld-Wen Door and Window Company restores the doors and windows in one lighthouse each year. This year North Carolina’s own Bodie Island Lighthouse is up for consideration. Please take a minute to visit their website and vote.